Washington D.C., May 11, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Church's message of sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage – as a means to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa – is now beginning to receive support from a number of organizations and governments, including United Nations bodies and U.S. Congress.
The Catholic Church has been highly criticized for promoting chastity education as a means of containing the spread of the disease and not encouraging the use of condoms. But Steven Mosher, in a recent PRI Weekly Briefing, reports that scientific studies, from countries like Uganda, reveal evidence that shows how abstinence and fidelity have dramatically reduced HIV rates.
According to Mosher, the World Health Organization (WHO) is now using terms such as "partner reduction" and "long-term monogamous relationships" to promote concepts similar to those taught by the Catholic Church, namely abstinence and fidelity.
The African Church, no longer led by Western missionaries but by Africans, communicates its message in homilies during mass and through its faith education programs for young people and engaged couples. It also teaches against casual sex, sexual violence and polygamy.